A consultant works with the management of a business to improve the profitability of the business. Start your own Business Consulting Service earning over R 50 000 pm. You will be playing with big bucks.
Working with the top management, you can rest assured the consultant is a very highly paid individual. Some consultants charge R 1 000 per hour. Others charge R 15 000 per day for their services, and still, others work on an annual retainer fee of R 120 000 to over R 300 000 per year from any number of large corporations.
Until a few years ago, the title “consultant” limited to retired diplomats and top corporate officers. In other words, until recently, the consultant’s position was more honorary than actual. But that has all changed dramatically in the past few years running your own Business Consulting Service.
Popping up like bunnies in the spring
The number of consultants for almost any problem in life has increased by tenfold or more during the past ten years!
And the field of consultants is continuing to grow. In fact, independent consulting is one of the fastest growing businesses in the country today!
What exactly is a consultant?
A consultant is an expert at recognising problems and shaping solutions to those problems. We would like to help have your own Business Consulting Service.
Welcome to the seller’s market!
The need for business problem solvers among large and small businesses worldwide has never been greater. The ever-changing moods of the buyer plus the myriad of crisis situations business people face daily, have created this “seller’s market” for the alert consultant.
Reaching for a consultant when problems arise is as natural as looking for the sun to come up every morning.
When you are not feeling well, you call for the services of a doctor.
If your car is not running right, you take it to a mechanic. And so, it is with a businessperson when he meets a problem whether it be in the field of accounting, legal, sales or customer relations.
Another side of this need for consultants is in the case of the over-enthusiastic entrepreneur who rushes headlong into a business in which he has little or no experience. Many such dreamers invest their life savings in questionable projects without even considering the idea of bringing in a competent business consultant to analyse and evaluate their plans.
Even experienced people are prone to overrate their own ideas. The image of the result and dedicated enthusiasm toward the attainment of one’s goal are the prime prerequisites for success, however, unmerited enthusiasm and dedication can also be extremely dangerous as well.
The thing about business…
Unless it is based on solid research, it may cause people to chase headlong after non-existent rainbows. And that is where you can fit in as a business consultant.
It is not necessary for you to have owned or ran a successful business, to become a successful business consultant. Nor is it imperative that you have been in management or have held a titled position. You will, however, need the ability to sell yourself, and an up-to-date understanding of the area in which you intend to aid others.
Do a head count…
The first step is to make an honest evaluation of your own training and experience. You might be an ambitious tax consultant, never recognised for abilities. You might be especially good in such general areas as systems design, marketing, advertising, distribution, sales, or even efficiency, time management, scheduling, or productivity. There are hundreds of consultants across the country specialising in Direct Mail and Mail Order operations.
Most of these people enjoyed some measure of success in those fields and then discovered the easier way – recommending others on how to run successfully.
What do you enjoy doing?
What do you have experience in?
There are consultants for people who want success with a garage sale, party plan merchandising, and even multi-level operations. The important thing is to choose an area in which you have had some experience, an area that you have spent some time learning about and of course, an area of work that you enjoy.
Everyone is afraid of the responsibility involved. They claim they do not have the experience or the knowledge. Such was the case of a young lady we know, who was seeking work as a personnel clerk. She had worked five years as an assistant to the personnel manager of a large manufacturing plant, yet when we recommended her to become a consultant to people looking for work or to start her own resume writing service, she pleaded lack of knowledge, experience, and ability.
It comes with the territory
About everyone has had special training in a certain line of work, and they have gone on to absorb special studies or education along the same lines, and most people have worked all their lives along or close to a specific line of endeavour.
So, why shouldn’t a woman who has worked 20 years as, waitress, represent herself as a consultant to the training program for waitresses, within a restaurant organisation?
A shipping and receiving clerk would be a natural for setting up efficient operations, and for solving problems for businesses just starting out, or expanding their production output.
What is the point…
The point is, most people do not realise how much ability they really have, or the probable marketability of their training, knowledge, and experience. The important thing is to look at your educational strengths, combine that with any special training or on-the-job experience, and then offer your ability to help others with their problems along the lines you know best.
The Basics of Business Consulting Service
You do not need a big, fancy executive type office to get started, especially if you start your consulting business on a part-time basis.
A spare bedroom, a section of the basement, or even a corner of the dining room, will do very nicely.
If you handle your own bookkeeping/filing, you will need a ledger of some kind, and a file cabinet or two. You will need a computer if you plan to do your own correspondence. An alternative is to do all letters, etc. in longhand, and hire someone to put them in final form for you. Check the local high school or college. They may be happy to post your ad for a young lady looking for part-time work with your Business Consulting Service company.
Instead of going to the expense of paying for a business phone, use your residential phone and train all members of the family to answer it in a business-like manner, during normal working hours.
Save copies of all the sales letters you send out, and of course, all job proposals you submit.
Set up your file system with your final plan in mind, and you will save a lot of time as well as frustration. Get the kind of file folders that hang from the sides of the file cabinet’s drawers, allowing you to position the file folder title anywhere across the top of the folder. Then as you add clients to your file, you can keep them in alphabetical order without having a jumbled-looking file drawer in which you have to search for each title. It is also a promising idea to keep your active accounts in one drawer, your “hoped for” accounts in another, and master copies of all your letters, proposals, business contact information, and records in still another drawer.
You will also need business cards. Your nearest quick print shop can usually order these and help you in selecting wording and design for your Business Consulting Service.
But virtually no business can get by without file copies. Carbon paper means a loss of efficiency and running over to the corner shop to get copies is going to cost you time and money, so be sure to fit some sort of copier into your business start-up costs. If impossible at the very first, use the old carbon paper – you must have a copy of your file.
This is a great way but you can keep all copies on a backup, just make sure you keep them save.
Just how good of a typist are you?
If you type at all and there will always be at least a few letters that you should type, personally we suggest again that you go for the long-haul probabilities and rent, lease or buy the best and most modern computer you can afford.
Later, when you do move into that “dream” office, that will be one less piece of equipment you will have to be concerned about.
What is next?
Once you have decided what area of business consulting you want to be in and have your office or working space is set up, the next thing is to let people know you are available for work. Use some common sense and applied knowledge before spending any money on advertising. You will pick up some customers, regardless of the problem area you specialise in, by advertising in your area’s most popular newspaper. However, we would not recommend much more than a small ad in the Sunday editions, unless you are a direct mail, multi-level or garage sale consultant.
Finally, where to advertise?
Go with a quarter-page ad in the yellow pages of your telephone directory. The space salesperson will help you with the ad, but remember, you want it to catch the eye of your client and offer a promise of an end to his problems.
Always talk to your kind of people, emphasising the benefits of your services, as a Business Consulting Service. It is not good practice to quote or even discuss prices in either your advertising or on the phone when people respond. Always get the name, address, and telephone number, then explain your services in general. Set up an appointment to look over their operation, analyse their needs, and make a written proposal to solve their problems.
There may be several factors involved in setting up your fees, but starting out with small businesses, and until you line up 50 regular clients, your best bet would be R 500 per hour. Count on two to three hours per client, per day, and devoting 10 days per month to work on their needs, you are talking about R 10 000 to R 15 000 per month from each client. Multiply that times 50 clients, and you will be grossing R 50 000 to R 70 500 per month. As a one-man operation, you will be busy.
Insiders in this business say a person can leave his regular job on Friday, start a consulting business on Monday, and within six months, and have an income of more than R 1 000000 per year. Suffice it to say that a starter business consultant should earn from R 300 000 to R 600 000 before taxes and office expenses, in his first year in the business. Can you see, to run your own Business Consulting Service, can broaden your future horizons for you, reaching for your dreams, while chasing them.
Direct Mailing Solicitation
There is still another particularly important method of finding new clients, and that is via Direct Mail Solicitation. This, done either by postcard or sales letter mailings. For a mailing list of local businesses, check the yellow pages of your telephone directory, under the heading “Mailing lists.” Tell the advertiser the kind of mailing list you need, if they do not have it, ask them for the names of suppliers who might be able to supply your needs.
Alternately, you could compile your own mailing list of prospects most likely to be interested in your services. Mark the names you want in the area business directory and pay someone to put these names on a computer for you. The computer should be able to supply you with peal-and-stick address labels at a nominal cost. Putting your list on the computer from the start will save you thousands of Rand in money and countless hours of work in your Business Consulting Service.
Your postcard solicitation should be an elaboration of your printed advertising. In other words, an ad, or a Direct Mail Consultant, might, transferred to a postcard along these lines:
- Are you having trouble getting results?
- What about your direct mail business?
I can help you! Show you how to double, even triple the response from your mailings! Expand your market! Increase your profitability!
Whatever your needs, I can HELP! Whatever your problems, I can SOLVE THEM! Call now and let me explain.
After the message on the postcard, add your telephone number and your name, followed by your identification as Direct Mail Consultant for your Business Consulting Service.
A direct mail solicitation sale letter simply uses more words than the postcard, reads smoother, and forces the reader to respond as you direct him. Your sales letter can be any length needed to tell your story and achieve the goal, aim.
To be successful, embody and follow the “AIDA” form:
- A = Attention
- I = Interest
- D = Desire
- A = Action on the part of the reader.
Another point to remember when writing sales letters: Always appeal to the needs and wants of the person who is going to be reading the letter. He will start reading to see if your services can help him. If he is interested in more profits, reduced production costs and higher efficiency. He is looking for answers to his most pressing problems. Keep these elements in mind when you write a sales solicitation letter, whether for yourself or for a client.
What is Left to do as a Business Consulting Service
All that is still to do, is meeting with the prospect, listening to his problems, and hearing what he wants, then write out a proposal to solve his problems and satisfy his wants. This means selling yourself to the prospect assuring him you know what you are talking about and that you can make him more successful.
There you have it – a plan that can lead you to succeed as a business consultant! If you follow above, you will be on the map towards reaching your target.
Remember, though, no amount of research, reading, listening or investment can make you successful until you do something with that knowledge. Action on your part is the absolute ingredient to add, and that is up to you. Your future is in your own hands to run your own Business Consulting Service.
Act Now!!! We look forward to hearing from you with any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to drop us a line.